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The Technique Thief: The Move Holly Holm Should Steal From Dominick Cruz

If you know me, which many of you don’t, you’d understand that I’m absolutely in love with striking. I certainly love MMA and respect the ground game a ton (this coming from a guy who was thoroughly entertained by Jon Fitch back in the day), but striking has always been my favorite part of the game and as such, I do have a leaning towards striking based fighters. But after witnessing the main event of UFC 208 it became painfully obvious that what was missing was some quality grappling work, mainly on Holly Holm’s end who initiated the wrestling exchanges. Germaine de Randamie came in with a game plan that entirely based on putting her fist on Holm’s chin. Holm did indeed try to mix things up, but it was painfully obvious that she wasn’t getting anywhere with her tactics.

So now that she’s on a three fight skid, what exactly should Holly Holm be putting into her game? It’s a fairly common question with a reasonably obvious answer. Holly needs a wrestling game. But saying so is fairly boring. Instead, we should be wondering what kind of wrestling moves would compliment her game. Even further still, which high level fighter should she be watching and hoping to emulate in order to add some wrestling skills into her game that makes sense with her striking style?

Dominick Cruz’s knee tap takedown.

A knee tap takedown isn’t some kind of patented move owned by Dominick Cruz. It’s a wrestling technique that you can find many fighters employing. The reason I reference Dominick Cruz’s knee tap is because of the way he implements the technique while at the same time using lateral movement.

Holly Holm’s striking style is all based around lateral movement. Her biggest issue that she’s facing is the fact that she likes to blitz in naked with no fakes or feints before hand. Her opponents know that she wants to come forward with punches when she performs her blitz and she does though usually on the same angle offering nothing in the way of surprises.

But some added lateral movement coupled with a blitz and finishing with a knee tap takedown would make her a dangerous woman to face off against.

While the above clip is a double leg takedown, the principles remain the same in terms of using level changes as well as cutting to the correct angle off her own footwork. As Holly initiates the blitz from her southpaw stance, she could abandon the attack or use it as a smokescreen, get a deep underhook with the left arm and knee tap with her right arm to throw her opponent off. She could also use it as a counter as well as Holly has fine countering sense.

But all this is going to remain a pipe dream unless it’s actually practiced on the mat. While this addition to her game wouldn’t fix all the issues, no fighter is perfect after all, it would go a long way to making Holly Holm an even more dangerous fighter at this point.

What techniques do you think Holly Holm could use?

Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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